It has been three weeks, today, since Christiano breathed his last breath on this earth. One of the many challenges through the tragic passing of my first born son has been seeing my other children grieve; each one processing the pain in their own way. They’re all at different paces in this journey, and I’m doing my best to press them on. One is doing a light jog, without stopping, mindful of stamina. One is walking or shuffling and needs to take a short break every now and then. One is sitting on a rock, desperate to catch a breath and has no plans to return anytime soon. This is an area where my reliance on The Lord must be constant. He has been faithful to equip me with love, gentleness, patience, kindness, compassion, and strength. But, there are times when it feels like I’m climbing a mountain with three people harnessed to me. Just when I’m feeling strong enough to climb a little higher, one of them scrapes a knee. I mend it, and I think we are ready to climb. I look over and there’s a scraped elbow to tend to. I wash it and clean it. Time to climb, right? Not so fast, now there’s a bumped head. So, we find a ledge to hold us, and we wait it out in the dark together, until the light shines and the darkness disappears. But, then there are nights like last night – when everyone is hurting all at the same time. The pain a mother experiences when her children are suffering is severe and difficult to put into words, but I’ll try…
Three little broken hearts and only two outstretched arms. How I wish I could bear all of their pain for them. All three of them crying and mourning for their big brother. Anger, doubt, fear, bring the question of ‘why’ to these three little ones who’ve never known this kind of heartache, who’ve never doubted or questioned, and who’ve never resided in fear. These are the times that drawing on The Lord are the most difficult, but the most necessary. ‘I can’t do this without You, Lord. Help me.’ On those nights, that is all I can muster up. He hears me, and He is faithful. Bedtime seems to come later and later and mornings seem to come even earlier. When they are finally settled into sleep, I, then, have my time to grieve – for me, for them, for my husband, who misses his son and best friend. Finally, I fall asleep.
As I woke up this morning, I was grateful; grateful for another day, grateful that my children and my husband slept soundly, and grateful that in my lack of natural rest, I find my strength in The Lord, my ever present Helper.
‘I look up to the mountains;does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep. God’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you—Shielding you from sunstroke,sheltering you from moonstroke. God guards you from every evil, He guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, He guards you now, He guards you always.’ Psalm 121